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Frequency Dependence and Ecological Drift Shape Coexistence of Species with Similar Niches

Svensson, Erik I. LU ; Gómez-Llano, Miguel A. LU ; Torres, Anais Rivas and Bensch, Hanna M. (2018) In American Naturalist 191(6). p.691-703
Abstract

The coexistence of ecologically similar species might be counteracted by ecological drift and demographic stochasticity, both of which erode local diversity. With niche differentiation, species can be maintained through performance trade-offs between environments, but trade-offs are difficult to invoke for species with similar ecological niches. Such similar species might then go locally extinct due to stochastic ecological drift, but there is little empirical evidence for such processes. Previous studies have relied on biogeographical surveys and inferred process from pattern, while experimental field investigations of ecological drift are rare. Mechanisms preserving local species diversity, such as frequency dependence (e.g.,... (More)

The coexistence of ecologically similar species might be counteracted by ecological drift and demographic stochasticity, both of which erode local diversity. With niche differentiation, species can be maintained through performance trade-offs between environments, but trade-offs are difficult to invoke for species with similar ecological niches. Such similar species might then go locally extinct due to stochastic ecological drift, but there is little empirical evidence for such processes. Previous studies have relied on biogeographical surveys and inferred process from pattern, while experimental field investigations of ecological drift are rare. Mechanisms preserving local species diversity, such as frequency dependence (e.g., rare-species advantages), can oppose local ecological drift, but the combined effects of ecological drift and such counteracting forces have seldom been investigated. Here, we investigate mechanisms between coexistence of ecologically similar but strongly sexually differentiated damselfly species (Calopteryx virgo and Calopteryx splendens). Combining field surveys, behavioral observations, experimental manipulations of species frequencies and densities, and simulation modeling, we demonstrate that species coexistence is shaped by the opposing forces of ecological drift and negative frequency dependence (rare-species advantage), generated by interference competition. Stochastic and deterministic processes therefore jointly shape coexistence. The role of negative frequency dependence in delaying the loss of ecologically similar species, such as those formed by sexual selection, should therefore be considered in community assembly, macroecology, macroevolution, and biogeography.

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author
organization
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
ecological drift, frequency dependence, neutral theory, sexual selection, speciation, unified neutral theory of biodiversity
in
American Naturalist
volume
191
issue
6
pages
691 - 703
publisher
University of Chicago Press
external identifiers
  • scopus:85044123600
ISSN
0003-0147
DOI
10.1086/697201
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
be33b316-7050-47aa-af20-c2cb295b3402
date added to LUP
2018-04-03 12:33:01
date last changed
2019-03-19 03:52:10
@article{be33b316-7050-47aa-af20-c2cb295b3402,
  abstract     = {<p>The coexistence of ecologically similar species might be counteracted by ecological drift and demographic stochasticity, both of which erode local diversity. With niche differentiation, species can be maintained through performance trade-offs between environments, but trade-offs are difficult to invoke for species with similar ecological niches. Such similar species might then go locally extinct due to stochastic ecological drift, but there is little empirical evidence for such processes. Previous studies have relied on biogeographical surveys and inferred process from pattern, while experimental field investigations of ecological drift are rare. Mechanisms preserving local species diversity, such as frequency dependence (e.g., rare-species advantages), can oppose local ecological drift, but the combined effects of ecological drift and such counteracting forces have seldom been investigated. Here, we investigate mechanisms between coexistence of ecologically similar but strongly sexually differentiated damselfly species (Calopteryx virgo and Calopteryx splendens). Combining field surveys, behavioral observations, experimental manipulations of species frequencies and densities, and simulation modeling, we demonstrate that species coexistence is shaped by the opposing forces of ecological drift and negative frequency dependence (rare-species advantage), generated by interference competition. Stochastic and deterministic processes therefore jointly shape coexistence. The role of negative frequency dependence in delaying the loss of ecologically similar species, such as those formed by sexual selection, should therefore be considered in community assembly, macroecology, macroevolution, and biogeography.</p>},
  author       = {Svensson, Erik I. and Gómez-Llano, Miguel A. and Torres, Anais Rivas and Bensch, Hanna M.},
  issn         = {0003-0147},
  keyword      = {ecological drift,frequency dependence,neutral theory,sexual selection,speciation,unified neutral theory of biodiversity},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {06},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {691--703},
  publisher    = {University of Chicago Press},
  series       = {American Naturalist},
  title        = {Frequency Dependence and Ecological Drift Shape Coexistence of Species with Similar Niches},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/697201},
  volume       = {191},
  year         = {2018},
}